Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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Faith of a Skeptic – Faith Matters

I don’t think what we call religion can be put into a box neatly labeled religion and relegated to one part of the academic curriculum or one area of journalism. It seems to me that one of the lessons of 9/11 is that the influence of religion is virtually limitless and ubiquitous, and the sooner we figure that out, the wiser we’ll be.

Faith of a Skeptic – Faith Matters (

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Schwarzenegger says he will declare fiscal emergency

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday said he would declare a fiscal emergency in California so he and state lawmakers can start cutting programs before shrinking tax revenue from the collapsed housing market leaves the state with up to a $14 billion shortfall over the next year-and-a-half.

The emergency will likely mean cuts to schools, colleges, prisons and aid programs for the poor, elderly, and out-of-work that have already spent nearly half their promised funding for the year.

Schwarzenegger says he will declare fiscal emergency

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Priests are happy without wives

I never have been able to understand lay folk who are obsessed with the abolition of celibacy. It may well be an appropriate modification of the church in a time when most American young men do not find the priesthood an attractive way to spend their life. However, a cursory reading of the research literature on the personal and professional satisfaction among the clergy and reports from the spouses and children of Protestant (and Greek Orthodox and rabbinic) clergy indicates that family relations are an enormous problem for many of them. In addition to the usual problems of spouse and children to which all humans must respond, married clergy are subjected to pressures from their parishioners (who often assume that the spouse is an unpaid member of the parish team) and ecclesiastical authority who often assume that ministerial families must be like Caesar’s wife — beyond reproach in every way.
Priests are happy without wives :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Andrew Greeley

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American Obesity Epidemic May Have Topped Out

Obesity prevalence among African-American women was shockingly high — more than 50% for those ages 20 to 59 and topping 60% for those ages 60 and over compared with 32% of non-Hispanic white women and 37% of Mexican-American women. Obesity rates were lowest for non-Hispanic whites in most age and sex categories.

Among men, however, the prevalence of obesity did not differ significantly by race/ethnic groups.

Medical News: American Obesity Epidemic May Have Topped Out – in Primary Care, Weight Management Source: MedPage Today

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Buddhism and Christmas

With Thanksgiving having passed by recently, Americans are all gearing up for Xmas. Buddhism is a religion that doesn’t necessarily have any strict holidays, instead Buddhism blends into local cultures. There are some general holidays in Buddhism such as:

    * The Buddha’s Birthday, typically in spring (called Hanamatsuri in Japanese).
    * Bodhi Day, or Enlightenment Day, happens in early December and celebrates the awakening of the Buddha.

Beyond this though, most holidays are specific to sects, cultures, etc. So, being an American, who did from a Christian background as a kid, I have to wonder what I will do for Christmas.

Buddhism and Christmas « The Level 8th Buddhist


Two Lessons

They took my Aunt Theresa off life support yesterday. She had a good time on her last day, with reason to be very proud of her granddaughter, and died in the arms of a loved one. It was time to let go of the shell, and her family made the right decision. She is no longer there. At some point today or tomorrow her body will stop breathing, and this part of her journey will officially be over. The details of her departure don’t matter.

What does matter are the lessons to be learned. Continue reading

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A rural Minnesota football team excels on – and off – the field

Argyle, Minn. – Farming is life here in Marshall County, where sugar beets and wheat grow thick across the flat landscape and small towns simply grow smaller. But in the midst of the troubles that plague much of rural America, two neighboring villages here take great pride in something that is forever etched in the ethics of work, play, and praise.

Football. More specifically, nine-man football. Kids from the towns of Stephen (population 708) and Argyle (656) attend Stephen-Argyle High School, which has become synonymous in Minnesota and the upper Midwest with championship small-town football.

A rural Minnesota football team excels on – and off – the field |